There is so much drama between Bachelor contestants Alayah Benavidez and Victoria Paul that it would surprise no one to find out that these two pageant queens have history. Prior to being cast on season 24, they both competed at Miss USA 2019 — Alayah represented Texas while Victoria was Miss Louisiana. Much like Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, you can’t quite call them friends, but it’s safe to say they were definitely friendly before competing for Peter Weber‘s heart. Caution: Spoilers for season 24 are below! Do not keep reading if you don’t want to know what happens.
Viewers saw the drama unfold during week 3. It all started when contestant Sydney Hightower put a bug in the leading man’s ear that someone isn’t there ~for the right reasons.~ Although she didn’t name drop at the time, she later confirmed she was talking about Alayah, who beat her in the finals of the pillow fight group date hosted by Bachelor in Paradise alum Demi Burnett.
Alayah promised that she was being genuine and didn’t understand where the shade was coming from. “Your story is not flawless because your story is an opinion and an opinion is not facts,” she said about Sydney during a private interview. “I’m not going to put out my light just because someone else is lying.”
After that, Peter opts to treat the ladies to a pool party in lieu of a stuffy cocktail party before the next rose ceremony. Sydney’s comments caused the handsome pilot to do some digging and ask around about the Texas native. Surprisingly, a slew of other contestants claim that the beauty queen seems more interested in boosting her follower count than finding love.
This is when Victoria P. also dished some interesting information. “It’s difficult for me to be in this position, but I know she asked me to not tell producers that we knew each other … Looking back, she did ask me to lie and that’s not who I am,” the blonde beauty revealed.
“Coming into this, she was really looking forward to all the opportunities to come from this even if you weren’t her husband,” Victoria P. added.
The pool party drama paid off for the other ladies because Alayah was eliminated during the rose ceremony. The end, right? Not quite. The former Miss Texas returns the following rose ceremony — which took place in Cleveland, Ohio, — to try and tell her side of things to the leading man. At this point, details are a bit fuzzy, but it appears that Peter gives her another shot. However, she decides to then leave on her own terms and go back home. Whew, we’re exhausted!
As for her friendship with Victoria P., the ladies definitely knew each other through the pageant world. The Louisiana native admitted on the show that they “collectively maybe spent three hours together” outside of the show. However, photographic evidence can be found on Alayah’s Instagram page of the two attending the same Sherri Hill event back in December 2018.
In addition, Alayah previously talked about how close she got with the women during the pageant. “Even though I did not walk away with the title of Miss USA, I walked away with 50 beautiful friendships that will last me my entire life,” she wrote on Instagram in May 2019. “These girls are so supportive and wonderful and it never once felt like a competition with all of these beauties cheering each other on.”
Obviously, there are only a few degrees of separation between these Bachelor Nation babes. During the Miss USA pageant, Victoria was roommates with the Chelsie Kryst, who went on to win the coveted title of Miss USA, and it seems as though the North Carolina native was extremely friendly with both contestants. “My RPM sister, Miss USA roomie, and fellow snack-lover, Victoria, will be looking for love with Pilot Pete. So will my bus buddy, Alayah, who has been a constant source of encouragement and positivity,” she gushed on Instagram to cheer on both ladies.
The drama never ends!